Funmi Iyanda Is Creating An Adaptation of Jude Dibia’s ‘Walking with Shadows’, the First Novel by a Nigerian to Humanize Queerness, Will Premiere at the BFI London Film Festival | Watch Trailer
In 2004, popular Nigerian journalist Funmi Iyanda invited Bisi Alimi to her talk show, ‘New Dawn with Funmi’. In that interview, Bisi came out as gay a confession that invoked the wrath of Nigerians, not only on him but on Iyanda for daring to use her platform that way.
When I did that interview I did not know how much punishment I would get. I was more concerned for him than myself. I was punished severely in ways I will not talk about, even now, until I am ready. It’s ridiculous.Funmi Iyanda
The following year, 2005, another gay man, Jude Dibia, quietly published a novel – Walking with Shadows, the first to humanize a gay character in Nigerian literature. The book immediately sparked controversy, and, in years after, the point of departure in conversations about the representation of queerness in the country. Today, it is, quite simply, one of Nigeria’s most cited books in journalism and academia.
In partnership with The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERS). The film will premiere at the 63rd BFI London Film Festival, which will be held from 2–13 October 2019.